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Through the Fringe of Madness

Author: 
Xan

Liann

(Follow the road, eventually arrive in a deserted settlement, and meet two wierd men near the settlement)

Shelden

Hello, I'm Shelden. I've been here the longest. That's why I'm mayor of Passwall. That, and because I'm the best at being in charge. Welcome to my town!

Liann

Ask about "Passwall"

Shelden

The place was pretty deserted when I got here. Of course, once I was here, others followed. Can't say I blame them.

Liann

Ask about "Gates of Madness"

Shelden

They say the keys are sewn up in the Gatekeeper's body. Basically, that means you're not getting in.

Liann

Ask about "Gatekeeper"

Shelden

He guards the Gates of Madness. See for yourself. He's about to destroy a party of adventurers. See you later.

(He runs to the top of a hill)

Felas Sarandas

I'm Felas Sarandas. Don't breathe on me.

Liann

Ask about "Passwall"

Felas Sarandas

It's a nice enough place. Less dirty than others. I feel like I belong. That old man, in the room made out of butterflies, he said to wait here.

Liann

Ask about "Gates of Madness"

Felas Sarandas

One leads to the lands of Mania, and one to Dementia. The Gatekeeper makes sure no one gets in who isn't supposed to.

Liann

Ask about "Gatekeeper"

Felas Sarandas

He's pretty scary, isn't he? Let's watch him in action.

(He runs following Shelden)

Liann

(Follow them up to the hill. At the top of the hill, there is a place with a pair of giant doors that guarded by a giant man, the Gatekeeper. Some adventurers, led by an Orc, are trying to defeat the Gatekeeper. The Gatekeeper easily wipes them all. The Orc Captain retreats)

Orc Adventurer Captain

He's too much! Killed all my men! Get out of my way!

(He runs)

Liann's Journal

The formidable Gatekeeper has destroyed a party of adventurers. I should talk to the residents of Passwall before trying to deal with this creature.

Liann

(Talk to Shelden and Felas Sarandas)

Shelden

Yes? You need my help, don't you?

Liann

Ask about "Gatekeeper"

Shelden

He guards the Gates of Madness. Don't get too close to him. He'll kill you, and it will leave a mess in my town. Jayred Ice-Veins wants to kill the Gatekeeper. Sounds like suicide to me.

Felas Sarandas

Try not to cough on me.

Liann

Ask about "Gatekeeper"

Felas Sarandas

Pretty scary, isn't he? Jayred's planning on killing him. I don't know how... the Gatekeeper looks indestructible to me.

Liann

(Walk around town and enter an inn)

Dredhwen

Hello, I'm Dredhwen. No one was running this place when I got here. They left plenty of things behind, though. What do you need?

Liann

Ask about "Passwall"

Dredhwen

I took over the inn when I got here. There wasn't anyone living here. Except for Shelden. He says he's Mayor. Don't believe it.

Liann

Ask about "Gates of Madness"

Dredhwen

I feel like I need to be on the other side. I'm just not sure how to get in.

Liann

Ask about "Gatekeeper"

Dredhwen

He protects the Gates of Madness. He'll kill anyone who gets near... anyone except Relmyna Verenim. She's staying upstairs right now.

Liann's Journal

I should talk to Jayred about killing the Gatekeeper. I can also talk to Relmyna to learn more about the Gatekeeper.

Liann

(Go upstairs and talk to Relmyna Verenim)

Relmyna Verenim

Well, what have we here? Another hopeful whose blessing hasn't fully taken root? No, I don't think so. You're an adventurer? How disgusting. Why don't you go back the way you came?

Liann

Ask about "Passwall"

Relmyna Verenim

Quaint, isn't it? Passwall sits in the Fringe of the Shivering Isles. It's where the supplicants wait while the Blessing of Sheogorath takes hold.

Liann

Ask about "Gates of Madness"

Relmyna Verenim

One leads to Mania, one to Dementia. Two shades of madness. You're not getting in because you're not blessed by Sheogorath. You can try to get the keys. My Lord had them sewn into my child's body. I wonder if you are a fast bleeder, or a slow bleeder.

Liann

Ask about "Gatekeeper"

Relmyna Verenim

The Gatekeeper is my child, the consummation of Sheogorath's wisdom in the womb of my genius. It was a painful and bloody birth, but well worth it. His brothers were less... successful. He won't bother those blessed by Lord Sheogorath. You, however, will die trying to get the keys from my child.

Liann

Then I must kill the Gatekeeper.

Relmyna Verenim

Try him if you like. Believe me, after you die, I can put your flesh and bones to very good use.

Liann

I will find a way.

Relmyna Verenim

I'm bored with you. Why don't you talk to Nanette? She likes talking. I'll need to cure her of that habit soon enough. There's one sure way to stop a tongue from flapping: cut it out. Shall I demonstrate?

Liann's Journal

I should see if Nanette has anything interesting to say about the Gatekeeper.

Liann

(Go out of the inn and try to find Nanette)

Nanette Don

Hello, is there something I can do for you? What was that?

Liann

Ask about "Passwall"

Nanette Don

I don't know who built it. It was here before any of us arrived. It looks like other people lived here before. Dredhwen's been selling what they left behind. So, if you need something, talk to her. She's in the Wastrel's Purse.

Liann

Ask about "Gates of Madness"

Nanette Don

Can't get in without Sheogorath's Blessing. That's what Relmyna says. That's the reason we're all waiting here - for Sheogorath's blessing. Oh, and I guess there's keys sewn up inside the Gatekeeper's body. Not sure why someone would do that. It's not like anyone can get them now.

Liann

Ask about "Gatekeeper"

Nanette Don

He's Relmyna's crowning achievement. The Gatekeeper keeps out people who don't belong in the Shivering Isles. She made him in the Gardens of Flesh and Bone. She's my teacher. She's going to teach me all her secrets. Oh, and this is really interesting -- wait! Never mind. My big mouth almost just got me in trouble again.

Liann

Keep asking about "Gatekeeper"

Nanette Don

I'd like to tell you, but... really, I shouldn't say anything more.

Liann

(Try to increase her disposition)

Ask about "Gatekeeper"

Nanette Don

I've been dying to tell someone. You seem trustworthy enough... but don't tell Relmyna I said anything! Her Gatekeeper is flawed! Her tears hurt him!

Liann

How do tears hurt him?

Nanette Don

Her tears somehow agitate the daedra bound to the Gatekeeper's body. Her tears make it really restless. It strains harder against the warding magic. She may seem like a tough woman, but the Gatekeeper makes her all weepy. Go see for yourself. She visits him every night, around midnight. Just don't tell her I said anything. I might get another lesson in the nature of Pain. I don't like those lessons very much.

Liann's Journal

I should find Relmyna at midnight, and spy on her visit with the Gatekeeper.

Liann

Ask about "Gardens of Flesh and Bone"

Nanette Don

It's just down the road from Passwall. It's where Relmyna created the Gatekeeper.

Liann

(Find Jayred Ice-Veins)

Jayred Ice-Veins

I'm Jayred Ice-Veins. Do you ever wonder why things look better without their skin on? For instance, you can only really see the bones when you take them out. You can hear them better that way, too.

Liann

Ask about "Passwall"

Jayred Ice-Veins

I followed the bones. They lead me here. I just moved in when I got here. No one seemed to mind. Everyone here seems to be waiting for something.

Liann

Ask about "Gates of Madness"

Jayred Ice-Veins

I can hear them, calling to me from the other side. We need to kill the Gatekeeper! He has the keys.

Liann

Ask about "Gatekeeper"

Jayred Ice-Veins

I want him dead. I need him dead! His bones are calling to me. Rumor has it you want him dead, too. If you're any good with a lockpick, we can help each other out. We can get into the Gardens of Flesh and Bone.

Liann

Ask about "Gardens of Flesh and Bone"

Jayred Ice-Veins

They say the Gatekeeper's magical. I don't believe in magic. But I do believe in bones. And the best way to kill something is with the bones of its own. I can see the bones of a dead Gatekeeper in the courtyard of the Gardens. The door's locked, though. You'll pick that lock, and I'll collect the bones. Then I'll make some arrows, and we'll kill the Gatekeeper. Sound good?

Liann's Journal

Jayred thinks he can make arrows that will harm the Gatekeeper from bones found in the Gardens of Flesh and Bone courtyard. I should speak with Jayred when I'm ready to go.

Liann

Lead on.

Jayred Ice-Veins

Here. Take this lockpick. Careful, it's the only one I've got. You open the door. I'll kill things. Let's go!

Liann

(Follow him to the Gardens of Flesh and Bone)

Jayred Ice-Veins

Hurry! Pick that lock open. I can hear them in there!

Liann

(Unlock the gate. Jayred Ice-Veins enters and immediately takes some of the bones from a decayed Gatekeeper)

Jayred Ice-Veins

From these Gatekeeper bones I can make some arrows.

Liann

When will these bone arrows be ready?

Jayred Ice-Veins

Find me in a few hours. We'll kill the Gatekeeper.

(He runs to his house)

Liann's Journal

Jayred has collected bone fragments from a skeleton of what appears to be another Gatekeeper. I should see Jayred in a few hours retrieve the arrows made from these fragments.

Liann

(Wait until midnight, go to the Gates of Madness, sneak and hide near the Gatekeeper. Relmyna Verenim comes)

Relmyna Verenim

Well, my child, how are you this evening? I'm so proud of you, my child. You crush our Lord's enemies into dust. You are strong like Him. I made you for Him. But still He refuses me. Why? No, it's too much. I don't know why I keep coming to visit you! No, not now!

(She weeps. The Gatekeeper comes closer. Relmyna is startled, she drops her handkerchief)

Don't you remember what happened last time you touched my tears? Keep away!

(She goes back to the town)

Liann's Journal

The sorceress has dropped a handkerchief full of her tears, which apparently can hurt the Gatekeeper. I should get that handkerchief.

Liann

(Take her handkerchief and extract the tears from it. Go back to the town to find Jayred Ice-Veins)

Liann's Journal

I've squeezed the handkerchief full of the Sorceress' tears into a bottle. This may act as a poison to the Gatekeeper. I have a limited number of doses, so I will need to be careful using them.

Jayred Ice-Veins

We should go hunting. Soon.

Liann

Ask about "Bone Arrows"

Jayred Ice-Veins

The arrows are ready. Here are some for you, and I'll keep some. Let's go kill the Gatekeeper. We might die. But there's worse things.

Liann's Journal

Jayred has finished the arrows and is willing to come fight the Gatekeeper with me.

Liann

Follow me.

Jayred Ice-Veins

Let's go!

Liann

(Together with Jayred Ice-Veins, confront the Gatekeeper. The combination of Jayred Ice-Veins's bone arrows and Relmyna Verenim's tears are deadly to the Gatekeeper. In no time, the Gatekeeper is slain)

Jayred Ice-Veins

The Gatekeeper is slain. Congratulations. The honor of taking the keys from his corpse is yours.

Liann

Ask about "Gates of Madness"

Jayred Ice-Veins

As soon as you get those doors unlocked, I'm going in!

Liann's Journal

The Gatekeeper is dead. I should retrieve the keys to the Gates of Madness from the Gatekeeper's corpse.

Liann

(Search Gatekeeper's body, and find two keys, Key to Dementia and Key to Mania)

(Haskill shows up)

Haskill

So, you've managed to kill the Gatekeeper. Pity. Well, you'll now be able to enter the Realm proper. You'll notice there are two doors. One leads to the lands of Mania. The other to Dementia. Enter through either one. The lands are quite distinct, but both are Sheogorath's domain. You'll want to seek out Lord Sheogorath. I believe He has plans for you. Try not to disappoint Him.

Liann

Ask about "Shivering Isles"

Haskill

You will enter soon, I imagine, through the Gates of Madness and into the lands of Mania and Dementia. It is the Realm of Lord Sheogorath. It is what He wills it to be. The trees bloom according to His whim, and the wind blows at His command. Tread lightly in the Isles. It is not a place suited to all mortals. But, I'm sure you'll do fine.

Liann

Ask about "Sheogorath"

Haskill

He is the Prince of Madness. The ruler of the Shivering Isles. It is by His will that we exist in this place. He is our Lord and Master. You'll want to speak with Him soon, as I believe He has plans for you. You will find Him in New Sheoth, in His palace. It is best not to make Lord Sheogorath wait. His whims are fleeting, and should He decide you are no longer necessary, it would be to your detriment.

Liann

Ask about "New Sheoth"

Haskill

It is, of course, the capital of the Shivering Isles. It is divided into Bliss, Crucible, and the Palace districts.

Liann

Ask about "Gates of Madness"

Haskill

The doorways into the Realm proper. You may enter through either one. Really, it depends on which aspect of the Realm more suits your disposition. As I've said, all choices have consequences, but don't trouble yourself too much with your decision. All those that enter the Realm are forever changed, but some believe it is for the better. A good portion of them, at least.

Liann

Ask about "Dementia"

Haskill

The lands of Dementia reflect the darker side of its residents. It is easy to get lost among the tangle of roots growing out of the ground. If you wish to meet Dementia's citizens, seek them out in Deepwallow or Fellmoor. I'm sure they'll welcome one such as you with open arms.

Liann

Ask about "Mania"

Haskill

The lands of Mania are bright, vibrant, and full of color. You'll find its inhabitants reflect the land itself. If you wish to meet the residents of Mania, you'll find them in the settlements of Hale and Highcross. Take care, though. Though the citizens and creatures of Mania are colorful, they can often be quite deadly. I'm sure you can handle it, though.

Liann's Journal

I have both the Key to Mania and the Key to Dementia. I can go through either door of the Gates of Madness.

Liann

(Decided to enter the Gate of Mania)